Explore the most popular birding trails near Cleveland with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

7 hours ago

Great trail, especially for out of shape women! Several waterfalls on the way to the lovely namesake! Lots of rain lately and all the water was rushing throughout the park. Recommend an early start to avoid the afternoon crowds on weekends.

One of the most beautifully crafted nature trails. Not the longest or steepest, but a great workout with a wonderful reward.....

I took my 2 dogs on a Sunday and saw no humans for the first 3 hours. Unfortunately, I got lost, and ended up on some sort of road, passed a house, heard 276 traffic and knew I was near civilization. Thankfully, I had plenty of water. Got to the hwy. and then had to try to figure out which way to Raven Falls parking lot, yes, I had no paper guides and just tried to use common sense, following the sun. I was struggling with the walk toward my car, as the road is very busy, and the narrow shoulders were scary. Finally, I figured I'd better save down a car, which I did and a very sweet guy stopped, said Yes, we WERE heading in correct direction, about 3/4 of a mile ahead. At first I turned down the ride he (and 4 other men) offered, then thought I'd certainly better take him up on that ride, as walking the road was treacherous. Got safely to car. Unlocked vehicle, DEAD BATTERY! So, I waited. 2 other cars were parked there. Mind you, it was no 7:30, park closing at 8. A nice solo hiker and his dog appeared and he kindly jumped my car, and my dead battery came on, whew. Forgot to mention, that, of course, NO cell service going on here...
Let me make a suggestion, too, that the trail blazers NOT be red and orange, so close together, makes for some confusion. We were hopelessly lost for a good while. I DID see 3 hikers on trail, after the initial beginning where several folks were around, but for most part, my 15 lb rat terrier, and 55 lb mixed-breed Norwegian Elk Hound had the forest to ourselves. Passing by the Lieutenant sheer rock faces was beautiful and, surprisingly, the dogs navigated those rocks well. I suggest having paper guides on hand. I won't go in those woods again without them, as it's way too easy to lose your way. I am in decent shape, but, seriously, I was starting to wonder if I could keep going. My legs began feeling like rubber, it was wild.

on Rainbow Falls Trail

5 days ago

It was HARD!!! But definitely worth it

Did this trail with my kids and we loved it! Difficult in areas but worth it in the end!

What an amazing place. Pictures cannot do justice to the scale of Rainbow Falls. Getting there is quite an uphill journey, but well worth it!!!

9 days ago

I did this hike today with two I teenage girls and two dogs. This was HARD!!! I thought I was in better shApe. I’m not. I had to take many breathers, BUT it was SO worth it!!!! The falls were. Amazing. Nice cool breeze and beautiful falls. We took 3 1/2 hours.

This is one of my all time favorite trails. It’s a moderate out and back but fairly strenuous if you take the Dismal trail to make it a loop. There are a few excellent spots for picnics and swimming above the falls and the view from the suspension bridge can’t be beat. Definitely bring plenty of water and something to eat.

My favorite for a day of ball-busting exercise. Regardless of my fitness level, I have always been drenched in sweat, and exhausted by the time I reach the parking areas. Everything up until Bill Kimball is pretty easy/flat. The first bit of Bill Kimball is pretty flat, and a little overgrown in area, though well blazed. But once you start ascending, it’s 35 minutes of exhilarating torture.

I recommend hiking from Jones Gap to Coldspring Branch to Bill Kimball and out in a clockwise fashion. Making Bill Kimball a steep ascent rather than descent. Make sure you have water.


This trail is ridiculous and amazing rolled into one! We did the loop with Dismal at the end and it was tough! I would definitely recommend getting Dismal out of the way first. Natraland was the best part and full of fun obstacles. Bring plenty of water and wear legit hiking shoes! Highly recommend.

I agree with the other reviewers on this hike. The trail is well marked and maintained. The loop is Hard and not for those expecting a brief or moderate experience. Make sure that you have plenty of water to keep hydrated (I went through 3 full liters) and food to give you energy. Great trail and sense of accomplishment. I would do it again!

Beautiful falls, worth the hike!

20 days ago

Beautiful falls! Definitely a difficult hike. So many stairs! But worth it at the end. The trek back is a breeze

The trail to the Look Out is well maintained and moderate. The dismal Loop trail however is NOT for The beginner hiker. The full loop trail is HARD, be prepared and have plenty of water to take with you. Even though the difficulty level is HARD it's still worth it. You will get to see sights that you would not be able to see otherwise. The cut out log bridge over the river, the huge rock face called "The Catherdal" to the Suspension Bridge at the top of the falls which gives you a feeling of great accomplishment!. I would do this hike again!.

At least 8+ mikes. Great hike but not really great view of the falls. We went clockwise and swam in the river after the suspension bridge. That’s a good place to call. Lunch spot. Going clockwise left you with an easy hike back to the car.

Moderate my ASS!!! More like 9 miles.

26 days ago

Beautiful!!! The trail was nice and easy until end of the trail, you need to cross the small stream and scramble on rocks.

Also there is very bumpy area on the road under first stream. So I suggest you to park on small pullout on right side then hike for only 500 feet to the trailhead.

28 days ago

A great work out with an excellent pay off. The falls are absolutely beautiful.

28 days ago

Hiking this trail was a good time for my first day hike. Me and three others set out on this trip in the later morning and returned mid afternoon. Many enjoyable stops along the way to enjoy the water and nature. It’s very mild for a bit in the beginning but when the elevation begins to start so does the difficulty. Good shoes and plenty of water are pretty important. Once you get to the water fall, stop to enjoy the many places to sit looking back toward it to learn why it gets its name Rainbow Falls. Well worth the hike.

Great hike, very good views.

Jones gap Rainbow falls beautiful but stuff. lol love it!

The trail is easy to find / navigate and quite short. The waterfall is spectacular! Follow busted Rock road until a creak crosses it. The road broadens here. Another road is to the left blocked by a red metal gate. this road is the trail. it follows the creek upstream. After about half a mile, the path narrows and goes straight to the base of the falls. I was thrilled to see such a dramatic cascade. Highly recommended, easy and beautiful. I loved this walk!

Absolutely amazing hike! A couple weeks ago my fiance and I hiked naturaland trust/gum gap/raven cliff falls trails then up the road to the main parking lot for GPS said 10.6 miles! Couldn't recommend more! We did it during a real bad thunderstorm and stayed dry under a rock outcrop for about 20 mins. The Cathedral was amazing and so many small waterfalls and of course the suspension bridge over a roaring Raven Cliff Falls!

Fun hike, would not necessarily call it a hard one, more on the moderate side. There were some portions of stone steps that got the heart racing, but nothing difficult by any means. The falls are beautiful! Make sure you veer off the left when you get to the falls to get a closer look, that way you can get the sun to shine into the water and you'll see where the name comes from!

I'm not buying the 7.1 distance, I am buying at least the 2100 feet in elevation change. We have what we did at nearly 12 miles. Plenty of chances to get in the water and to get different vantage points of the falls. we went down Dismal, then back up. Dismal had more switchbacks, some bouldering and three ladders and a ledge on the way back up to the payoff....a suspension bridge over the tallest waterfall in South Carolina. Challenging enough, not for a beginner or little one. Love it.

Great trail! Well maintained and easy to follow, compared to others I have been on. Cool diversions (falls, bridges, cliffs, ladders). I hiked today with my daughter. We were sweating, but it was worth the work. I now own an "I survived Dismal Loop" tee!!

Definitely a hard trail, I would not underestimate it. Bring trekking poles if you have them. Worth every mile. Absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking. Will always come back here

When they say this trail is Hard what they should really say is this trail is pretty damn strenuous. I read the reviews and was like oh people say it’s hard but complete the loop in 4 hours, that sounds doable. What I failed to consider is that the people writing these reviews likely hike quite often and are in much much better shape than myself. My husband and I did this trail this past weekend and I got my butt sufficiently kicked. Total time for the loop was 6and half hours, and it isn’t 7 miles it’s more like 8.5 miles. This loop is NOT kid friendly, is NOT limited mobility friendly, and seriously difficult if you are overweight.

Raven cliff is easy peasy, wide pathways, large portions of it gravel, gum gap is easy as well. The dismal and naturalland trust are really difficult. The climbs and descents are pretty steep, the trails are very narrow a great deal of the time where the edge is literally a drop off that I have no doubt if I had fallen I would have seriously injured myself. I had to crawl a few times to get under fallen trees and up the trail. While it is marked it is pretty easy to get lost on the natauralland trail. It is so steep in some places that all the climbs up/down look like they could be part of the trail. There are 2 creek crossings which are super easy and small, some up and down ladders as well. The views are pretty but I was so exhausted by time we made it to the bridge all I could think was I did that for this? I highly suggest doing raven cliff to dismal to natauralland way. I can’t imagine going the other way and having to go up dismal 4 miles into the hike.

It’s pretty and when I started I was full of hope and wonder. When i finished I was proud of myself for completing it and proving to myself that I could.

on Rainbow Falls Trail

1 month ago

Beautiful walk along the Middle Saluda for first 3/4 mile of the trail. Good bit of elevation in the mile heading up to the falls. Well worth the effort!! DON'T MISS THE CLIMB BY THE FALLS. When you arrive at the base of the falls, walk up the left side and cross over the creek to a 25 ft lookout on the right side of the falls. You'll look back thru the fall into the sun!!

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